Get Ready for a Wild Encounter:
Marvelous Marsupials at the Australia House
Being a zookeeper takes careful preparation. Here are some things that you need to know so that you can be prepared to work side by side with the
Communication between you and the host keeper is crucial. You must be able to read, speak, and understand English with out the use of an interpreter. If you are unable to participate in the program without an interpreter, please call (708) 688-8338.
You must be attentive and follow directions at all times. Although the Australia House animals are accustomed to having their human caregivers working close to them, they are still animals and their behavior is unpredictable. It is important that you pay close attention to the guidance and instructions of the keeper you are spending the time with you. Never enter any animal area without direction from one of the keepers. Always wait for instructions and authorization from one of the keepers before approaching any of the animals.
Please note the following precautions:
All participants are
required to complete a signed liability waiver
Not all portions of Marvelous Marsupials are fully accessible. Guests with disabilities: please call (708) 688-8338, for accessibility information.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Who can register?
Youth 8-17 who
be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian who does not pay an additional fee.
Marvelous Marsupials can accommodate 1-2 registered participants. (Prices vary accordingly.) You can register alone or register together with a family member of friend.
What should I wear?
As part of the program, you will be both inside and outside. You are welcome to wear either long pants or shorts. Wear comfortable closed toed shoes that can get dirty or wet, no sandals. You will be asked to remove all jewelry other than smooth wedding bands.
Where do we meet?
A keeper will meet you at the entrance to Australia House promptly at 9:30 AM. If you are parking your car for the length of the program, please park in the Discovery Center Lot.
What if I’m late?
If you are more than 15 minutes late, please call (708) 688-8400 and the zoo operator will contact the keeper. If you arrive late, the length of the program cannot be extended.
May I bring a camera or cell phone?
Unfortunately no. To insure the safety of all involved, camera and cell phone or pager usage is prohibited during the Marvelous Marsupials Program.
Can my family or friends watch me participate in this program?
To insure the safety of all involved, only the registered program participants will be allowed in off-exhibit areas where the program is taking place. You may also meet friends or family elsewhere in the zoo after your program.
What do I need to do with the Waiver Sheet?
Please bring your signed copy of the waiver with you to the program. We cannot offer the program without a signed waiver. If you are under 18, the waiver must be signed by a parent or guardian. If you have any questions about the waiver please call prior to the program date.
Is smoking permitted?
For the safety of animals, guests and staff, tobacco products may not be used during the program.
What do I need to know about working with the animals?
Although the Australia House animals are their human caregivers, they are still animals and their behavior can be unpredictable. It is important that you pay close attention to the guidance and instructions of the keepers you are spending the day with. Never enter any animal area without direction from one of the keepers. Always wait for instructions and authorization from one of the keepers before approaching any of the animals.
What if I need to cancel?
Wild Encounters, Windows into the Zoo, Hamill Family Play Zoo Classes, Adult Classes prices included a non-refundable deposit equal to 25% of program cost. Cancellations require advance notice of seven working days.
What if I need to reschedule?
Please follow the cancellation process outlined above. Once you have completed your cancellation, you are welcome to register for any available Wild Encounters program. Due to limited availability, we cannot guarantee program registration.
I have read through the waiver and have questions about whether this is the right program for my child. What should I do?
Please call (708) 688-8361 prior to registering for the program. We will do our best to answer each of your questions and to help you find a program that is a good fit for you.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please email